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How to apply Student Visa when you are in mainland China?


how to apply student visa and learn Chinese in shanghaiStudent visa is only for those who will study in China and have already applied and accepted by a qualified school in China, like university, middle school, MBA etc.


There are two possibilities:

A: you apply a school and apply the visa when you are in your own country before you go to China

B: you are in China and you plan apply a school and apply the visa in China


Let’s find the steps for case B:


Step 1. Search and find the school that can accept international students and issue student visa documents and supports for you to apply student visa                         

by yourself or with introduction from your friends


Step 2. Contact the school to complete the registration/application process.

by yourself and with the help from the school


With SN Mandarin where you can take a Mandarin Chinese language study program and get student visa supports, the application will require:

2.1 Program Application form to fill, print, sign, scan and send back (get from the school) [Download]

2.2 Copy of your passport, can be a scan of the passport ID Page

2.3 Scan of the insurance information page or Card that covers your stay in China (if you don't have, you can buy the international student insurance through the school 300RMB for one semester click  here for more details about the insurance )

2.4 Payment of the program deposit for admission and visa documents process

2.5 Registration form of Temporary Residence [Sample]

2.6 Off campus accommodation form (get from the school)

Other required documents like education diploma (for now, it’s not required by SN Mandarin for language program applicants, but some other school may require)


Step 3. After completing the application process according the school requirements (all of the above documents submitted before 10th of each month at latest, with SN Mandarin), the school will start the admission and visa documents process that will include:

3.1 School Admission Letter

3.2 JW202 Form from the education department

3.3 School letter to the visa bureau

3.4 Original Visa application letter stamped by the school 


By the school, you just wait and keep asking the update. It takes 2-3 weeks normally after the 10th.


Step 4: Book a heath check and get the Heath Report while the school is processing the documents (only when you are applying a long term study and multi-entry residence permit. If you are applying a short term study and X2 Visa, medical check is not needed): There is only one authorized place for this medical check and here is the website where you will book the appointment online beforehand. http://www.sithc.com/sithcen/  

Notes: It asks a copy of the school admission letter, so please prepare and bring it with you. Keep the original admission letter well for future usage please

It takes 4-5 working days to have the report, so please book the appointment as early as possible so you will have the report before the 30-day X1 Visa expires.


Step 5: When these documents are ready from the school, the school will inform you to come and pick up the documents after your completing the payment.


Step 6: Got to Shanghai Visa Bureau (the Entry-Exit Bureau in Shanghai) to apply your visa:

X2 for short term and Zero-Entry visa or long term and multi-entry Student Residence.


Documents required include:

3.1 Registration form of Temporary Residence

3.2 Heath Report (no need for X2 visa)

3.3 School’s Admission Letter original

3.4 Your Passport

3.5 JW202 form
3.6 A school letter to the bureau about residence permit transfer (issued from the school)

3.7 4 passport size photos



1.        If it’s the first time for you to apply visa in Shanghai, please go to F1 to take a digital photo for the system as required. It’s free if you don’t ask to print the photo

2.        You can ask for delivery service that will deliver your passport with ready visa when it’s ready

3.        You will pay the process fee when you pick up the passport: 400 for half year visa



Step 7: Student Visa Ready.

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